In 2014, for the first time, I received a donation to buy a Santa outfit and arrived in Chontal to visit the children in the school. When I asked a girl in the village beforehand if Santa was coming this year, this looked down and said, "Santa never comes here." It was the first ever visit from Santa, and gave the children an experiences of being valued like other children. I also bring fake powdered snow that turns into snow with water, and that's a favorite with the adults as well! Each visit comes with a spiritual message that is relevant to the year that the people have had.
I returned in 2015 again, and this time encountered a school suffering the effects of 4 suicides in the previous 2 months. With the snow and the Santa outfit, I was able to honor the memory and the continued presence of the children lost, and joy sprouted for a day.
In 2016, I visited a gathering of about 40 children in Quito who were receiving gifts from a donor:
And on Christmas day in 2016, I came as Santa to the children of San Isidro for the very first time, in the first Christmas since the earthquake of April. We made 150 caramelos for Santa to give out, along with a whole bunch of snow to make.